My reflections on hybrid working

I’ve been back at work, part of the week, for almost a month now.  It’s a pretty surreal experience – some days it feels a bit like going to work on a Saturday.  The train is quiet, the office is quiet.  However, it’s been really nice to see other people when our days happen to overlap and in DLAM there are now a small  number of us who see each other quite regularly and it feels nice to have those random ‘in-person’ chats again.

I’ve also been enjoying trying out hybrid meetings – and playing with some new kit (thanks Euan & Team! ).  So far, I’m actually surprised at how well the tests have mostly gone.  I’ve had a couple of meetings where due to tech issues we’ve had a less than optimum hybrid experience but since then we’ve ironed out a few things and they’ve been working better.

It’s a far cry from pre-pandemic where occasionally people would work from home, dial in via Skype and then you’d forget they were even there.  Teams has certainly helped with that but also I think we better understand now how to use the kit.

We are now used to a world of online only meetings and there are a few weird dynamics I’m struggling to get my head around:

  • Where do you look in the room? When you are physically present in the room – it feels natural to look at the other people in the room. But that does seem a bit weird to the people who are remote.
  • During the 18 months we worked from home, we all got used to our home working set up with multiple screens. So when you share your screen, you can choose which screen to share and still look at other things on other screens – such as the Teams chat, your remote colleagues lovely faces, the raised hands, the notes for your presentation and other things like that.  If you are in the room and sharing your screen, that is far more difficult.
  • What’s the etiquette for speaking? In a face-to-face only meeting, there’s particular body language that signifies to people you’d like to speak, with online meetings you can raise your hand. Hybrid is weird and I think it helps to discuss the etiquette at the start so everyone knows what the expectations are and everyone has a fair chance.

Today I used a ‘Teams Room’ for the first time.  It was super easy. Just waltz into the room (which I’d booked), look at a small tablet on the desk, see my meeting, join my meeting. Then could use my laptop to take notes, look at the meeting text chat.  It worked really well.

Meeting Room 6
Hybrid Meeting Kit

So generally I’m pretty happy to be back in the office. The one issue… bloomin’ trains are all over the place as usual.  Bloomin’ @scotrail…..

And obviously I do miss this little maniac:

Picture of schnauzer
Hamish

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